By Skylar Thornton
On March 21, Samford students from the Game Design major traveled to San Francisco, California, to attend the Game Developer’s Conference, or GDC, a conference that connects, builds and enhances the world of gaming. This is a yearly gathering of the world’s top companies and individuals to meet, discuss and grow all things related to games.
According to Statista, the gaming industry is currently worth $85.86 billion, while consumer spending has been $11.6 billion. Furthermore, the gaming industry has experienced an unyielding growth rate. Due to this steady and sturdy industry, companies like Amazon, Unity, Microsoft, Meta and Adobe attend the conference. Connections are made between companies, individuals and job opportunities.
While at the conference, the students learned that the gaming industry needs talents from varying people with varying skillsets. Each company needs a respective amount of individuals within different departments to have a well-balanced studio, and these departments need designers, software developers, programmers and producers. In correspondence with creating games, there needs to be art. The artistic department includes landscape artists, rigging artists, texture artists, character modelers and many more necessary people who complete the team within a studio.
Samford student Cooper Sullivan attended GDC with the other Game Design majors at Samford.
“GDC was a really good experience overall,” Sullivan said. “It was a great place to see the bleeding edge of game development tech and meet some amazing people that are right there with it.”
Sullivan also talked about the importance the conference held for upper-classmen to be able to network in the industry and be able to talk to “heads of giant corporations that you wouldn’t get pretty much anywhere else.”
Professor Wink Winkler is the head of the Game Design field and major at Samford University. Winkler was the bridge to connect his students to the remarkable experience that can only be found at GDC.
According to Winkler, the abilities GDC offers to students and other professionals is “one of the most impactful things a student can do for their career.”